I live in the Baton Rouge area. This summer we had catastrophic flooding; they called it a 1000 year event. My home did not have any flood waters but I have many friends and colleagues who did. I did have speaking engagements delayed (or canceled).
Small Stores are closing
In the immediate aftermath of the flood, our concerns and help were focused on the individuals and their homes. It did not take too much longer to start seeing how the floods affected small businesses. I saw a bakery post on Facebook almost immediately that they would have to close because of the flooding. I knew it would be the first of many and I was right.
My passion is to help small business owners to grow their business through online marketing. When small businesses are closing, I am losing potential business. Not only that, I am losing the chance I had to create a friendship with the business owner or manager.
It breaks my heart when I see people even thinking that they might have to close like I saw with this bookstore. (Luckily their town rallied around them after this post.)
What might happen if we start to lose our small businesses? Not much would be unique in our area. We would have the same big box stores that everyone else has all around the country.
How can you make sure that you have unique experiences in your hometown?
SHOP SMALL and SHOP LOCAL! Ask at the store if they are on social media. Like their Facebook Page or Instagram or SnapChat. When you see a post in your timeline, LIKE and SHARE it. Did you know that if you do not interact with a Page (or even friend for that matter) that Facebook will determine that you want to see less of that page and eventually will stop showing you posts? Did you shop at a favorite local store today? Go write a post on your favorite social media site to tell others how much you love that small store. Next time you are there snap a picture and post it with a TAG to their page.
Ask if the store has an email list for events and sales? (If they don't give them my number.) Sign up to get the emails and share their events, sales, and products with your friends.
#SmallBizSaturday is November 26
Make a plan right now to go to a small local store or two on November 26th. It is important that we support our local business owners. You may be surprised to hear the next store that is planning a liquidation. When you are shopping, ask everyone if they are planning an event for Small Business Saturday this year. I am holding a breakfast to help small businesses plan their day so they maximize the opportunity. I hope you will suggest they attend.
I want to be able to shop in a small store that sells items picked out for our local tastes. I hate going to the mall! (But there are small local stores there too.) I encourage all of us to shop more on Small Business Saturday than on Cyber Monday. It does more for our local economy. It does more to add variety and interest to our holiday season.
Don't let your favorite local store be the next one having a "Going Out of Business" Sale.